Nettles (Urtica dioica)

Nettles, Minnesota’s superfood loaded with minerals and vitamins which cleanse and nurture the body. The list of benefits this herb offers the human body alone would take pages upon pages.  Nettles is abundant and offers tremendous gifts to those whom connect with it.  Prefers to grow in disturbed soil near water as it has nitrogen fixing 


This rhizomatous perennial wild edible has sturdy stem with opposite serrated leaves and covered with tiny hairs which contain formic acid that can cause irritation; leaving skin red, raised and itchy.  To some that is considered medicine, called urtication which brings blood flow and life to skin that encounters nettles. Very helpful for arthritis and stimulating the body and blood flow.  


Young nettles are preferred for medicinal and edible uses as the plant has yet to flower.  Once flowered they produce calcium carbonate crystals which can irritate they kidneys.  I have noticed the plant looking more weathered as the season goes on as well.  It is recommended to use gloves when harvesting so you do not get stung, however with practice, if you pinch and squeeze in just the right manner you do not need to.  If stung jewelweed and yellow dock assist in relief. 

It is recommended to never eat nettles raw.  My favorite way to eat Nettles is to soak in water then steam on stove with butter/olive oil until wilted with a dash of salt.  So simple.  So delicious.  Possibilities are endless. 

I personally harvest the top 1/3 of plant for medicine making and for eating (stem & leaves).  The seeds and root are a powerful part of the plant to explore as well.  It has been said that the seeds in tincture form have helped people reverse kidney disease.  


Just to name a few... 

  • Contains Vit K (which helps calcium get in right places, bone & blood, coagulate blood)
  • Calcium, magnesium, iron, silicon, sodium, sulfur chlorophyll, vit c, beta carotene, b complexes, easily absorbable AA (10%protein), Vit D
  • Helpful for... odd nerve sensations, creeping crawly feeling that is worse than touch, raised red bumps, inflamed and puffy, posin ivy, chickenpox, herpes, hives, burns (1st & 2nd degree), inflamed membranes, damp heat conditions, allergies (contains histamines), sneezing with watery mucous (drying), arthritis cramped hands (sting with nettle to stimulate circulation), clear pipes in lungs, mucous in bowel or renal, galactagage, gets things flowing, cleansing to kidneys, efficient with waste removal, anemic, low energy, moves bowels, good for pregnancy, hemorrhoids,  loss of muscular power, vag steam, gout
  • Asthma, allergies, granuales (gout like feelings like crystals cutting bone), dissolving stones
  • Kidney failure remedy
  • Anemia
  • Blood Cleansing
  • Cold hand & feet
  • Cysts on plants after it flowers = cyst in our body
  • Do not use when flowered as it has too much crystals/uric acid (kidney stones can form if to much uric acid)
  • Likes soil with elevated levels of nitrogen (excess protein crystallizes and forms nitrogen & urea)
    • Allergies from protein waste
  • Good for pregnancy as kidneys are processing more fluid
    • Iron & nutritive
    • Stimulates breast milk
    • Gets flow moving – bowels & urinary
  • Watery sneezy, post nasal drip
    • Lowers blood glucose by stimulating insulin secretion
    • Rosiglitazone is diabetic medication & Nettles seems to be equivalent to it
      • Peripheral neuropathy, body weight, helps body produce own insulin
  • Hypothyroid
  • Lowers blood pressure, O2 levels, mental dullness, memory loss, poor concentration, depression, slew movements, brain fog, sleep apnea, low libido, no erection, kidney related, face is pale and grey, early aging, fatigue, poor hearing, hair thinning
  • TOUNGE -  pale swollen cold tongue
  • Use as a hair rinse
  • Hot flashes & bedwetting
  • Swollen prostate (root & aerial parts)
  • Hemorrhaging from orifices (nose) – has vit k

Yes, so our dear friend Nettles, a water loving, land and body cleaning plant is AMAZING!  Grateful to know Nettles in this way and hope we can all have the pleasure of getting aqainted in a good way. 

If Nettles is tugging at your heart, feel free to inquire if you would like to set up herbal consultation, purchase a 1oz bottle or if you would like to learn where to find it and how to make your own preparations


Interesting fact, the fiber that nettles creates is so strong.  Uniforms from WWII were made from it and are still in pristine shape.

Some people think Nettles are a pain in the butt, but we are truly blessed to have them growing in Minnesota as in some parts of the country they sell for $50/pound fresh!  Wild and abundant here.

This post is not intended to diagnose or prescribe any treatment.  It is intended for educational and inspirational information only.  Best practice is to work with a trained herbalist or medical provider before ingesting or harvesting herbs as we want to ensure safety and ethical wildcrafting.